Hello blog! I’ve missed you!
I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged for two weeks. That has to be a record 🙂
We’ve been moving house, cleaning house, unpacking house and nurturing our children as one by one they fall to chicken pox, even baby Linden (who has weathered it the best out of everyone). It has been quite an adventure and definitely all-consuming. I feel like we have passed through a threshold into a new phase of life. That is why major tests come up in our lives isn’t it? Just to see what we are capable of and to help us apply some new skills that we may have not had the opportunity to practice before.
I have to say this is the first time in a very long time that I have been ANGRY. It doesn’t happen very often and the feeling took me by surprise. It made my body hurt all over, especially my teeth and my neck. I can’t imagine living in that state all the time! It was really challenging to make myself let it go and find a better emotional place to be in.
So what happened? It doesn’t really matter in the end, if you look at it as a personal challenge. It was a bump in my peaceful and happy existence. Basically, amidst the upheaval of moving house (with sick kids!) I came across some people who clearly live a different life with different values and I am glad that it is rare that I come across such rudeness in my life. Moving house is an upheaval in many ways, not just physically. It is an emotional journey and there were many times I had to retreat into a quiet space and repeat a little ritual to keep focussed on feeling good.
One of the first things I did, after smudging our new house, was to set up my altar, so I had a place to sit and be quiet. The views from our bedroom window are just so beautiful. Bush everywhere. Green and fresh. Busy brush turkeys, sweet yellow wrens, playful king parrots and the most clever (and irritating!) butcher bird I have ever encountered. Sitting at my altar and watching all of this go on helped to keep me in the moment, to bring me back to the adventure we were having. I currently have three candles on my altar – one for our past house so that when I light it I think of all the wonderful things that happened there and all the opportunities that arose for me there. I think about the kind of person I became in that house and how I’ve grown so much through the experiences I had there.
The second candle is for our present house, so that when I light it I can count the blessings of living here too – right NOW. Being present.
The third candle is lit to help me focus on my intentions and goals for the next year – how I want to grow as a person, focussing on the things I need or want in my life and planning how I may achieve them. Just taking a 5 minute quiet break to light these candles would help to dissolve some (not all!) of the frustration I felt during the process of moving with an 8 week old baby, unwell children and dealing with some unpleasant experiences at the same time.
But I’ve left that experience behind me and am now turning my attention to our exciting new phase of life: communal family living! We have moved in with another family and together we total 4 adults and 6 children aged 6 and under. It is a busy household but we have found a beautiful big house in the bush to live in together and we are starting to settle into something that resembles a household rhythm.
It is challenging blending two families that are so used to their own ways of doing things and thinking about things but these challenges are inevitable and serve to make us look at what is really important. What we are so used to doing before worked before – and now that we live together we are finding new ways of moving through our days. We are all bringing our own gifts to the household and it is working out beautifully. It is exciting!
There are so many benefits that I have already begun to enjoy: shared shopping, shared cooking, shared cleaning, shared supervision, shared bedtimes routines … the potential to have a night out with your partner without having to book a baby sitter, being able to pop out for something without bringing all the children, and even being able to pop out for something and bringing a different child!
What I love the most at the moment is the washing up. As you know, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but I am not the only one. Everyone here loves to cook and I am sure that you can imagine how busy our kitchen is. I am not the neatest of cooks but I am trying. It certainly is easier to ‘clean as you go’ in a kitchen that is set out as well as ours is. It is a pleasure to clean our kitchen! With so many adults in the house one thing I have noticed is that when someone walks past the kitchen they put a few things away, or stack the dishwasher, or wipe the counter, or sweep the floor. We each have our favourite job 🙂 Between us it gets done and our kitchen does not remain in the state of madness it could easily descend into.
So I’ve moved through one threshold and into a new phase. I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds here … and I”ll be glad when the chicken pox leaves our house … three kids down, three to go!